While many of us make new year resolutions with all the best intentions, recent research found that two-thirds of people abandon them within the first month. Ouch.
But if you’re determined to change your lifestyle and stay that way for the whole of 2023, what can you do to defeat the new year resolution curse?
Well, when it comes to exercise, you need to consider the four C’s: confidence, convenience, choice and community.
If you struggle to exercise – even though you want to – the biggest barrier is likely to be psychological. According to Dr BJ Fogg, founder of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University, and author of the New York Times bestseller, Tiny Habits: the Small Changes That Change Everything, the most significant factor standing in the way of success in keeping resolutions is fear of failure.
“This can take many forms – expectations of pain, failure, social censure, frustration, and more,” he explains. “People who have failed many times before may attribute those failures to personal characteristics (‘I’m bad at this’), rather than a more helpful attribution (‘the environment around me made X difficult to achieve’).”
His advice? “Scale back your tasks and make them super tiny. The easier the action or task, the less motivation is required to do it. As you do the tiny things and feel successful, the fear diminishes and confidence increases.”
Next, you need to consider convenience. There are few things as depressing as the British weather from January until April; or as time-consuming as carving out enough hours in the day to actually get to the gym; or as impossible as finding childcare so you can take that much-needed “me time”. Which is why exercising at home is a great way to fit a regular workout routine around your other responsibilities.
Statistics from Peloton back this up. Based on internal data covering all-access members as of June 2022, it found that 91% of households that joined were still subscribed 12 months later – which indicates that the ease of exercising at home can’t be ignored.
So you’ve built your confidence and found a way to exercise that fits into your lifestyle – now you need to choose something you’re going to want to keep doing.
“When it comes to exercise, there are many options – running, walking, surfing, skating,” says Fogg. “One key to lasting change is to match yourself with something that you already know you want to do.”
Peloton instructor Hannah Frankson agrees, saying: “Sometimes I think we take exercise so seriously that we forget that it can be quite playful to be able to move our bodies.”
If you’re not sure what you like – or know that, for you, variety is the spice of fitness life – then signing up for a fitness app, such as Peloton’s, could be a good place to start. As well as live classes, it has a library of more than 25,000 on-demand classes across cycling, running, strength, stretching, yoga, meditation and more.
“We have over 50 instructors, who all come from different backgrounds, and each brings a unique voice and experience to the platform,” says Pete Flamman, Peloton’s vice-president of content international. His team produces about 1,000 classes a month from its London and New York studios. “We’re constantly reviewing member behaviour and feedback to understand what types and lengths of content are most engaging,” he says.
And then, finally, there’s the power of community – something that Peloton has managed to create. “Community is a core part of what we do,” says Flamman. “Members can support and encourage each other by giving virtual high fives during classes, for example. Then we have other features like Tags, as well as the option to join challenges and invite friends to work out with you. It’s all about connection and feeling part of a team – once that’s established, habits are much easier to maintain.”
If you’ve struggled to stick to your fitness resolution in the past, the thought of giving it another try could be incredibly daunting. If that’s the case, Fogg recommends you zero in on what he calls Fogg’s maxims. “Number one: help yourself do what you already want to do. Number two: help yourself feel successful.”
And for the days when you just. Can’t. Even. Frankson has this advice: “Exercising to songs that uplift you makes exercise so much more fun. The right playlist has the power to get me through hard sessions.”
In the zoneWith thousands of classes to suit all moods, goals, tastes and experience levels, Peloton is your chance to ride, run, lift and flow from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you choose to work out. To find new ways to move – and a community that inspires you to conquer more – head to onepeloton.co.uk